While the margarita has long been a go-to tequila favorite, downtown’s sultans of cocktail crafting have been hard at work creating new twists on the classic drink. Check out our sampling of the best downtown margarita hot spots sure to quench your thirst and excite your taste buds!
El Big Bad specializes in handcrafted infused tequilas, fresh juice margaritas and Mexican fare. At any one time, there are 50+ featured infused tequilas that are ever changing with the seasons. This fluidity means you could visit every day for a year and still not have the same margarita twice. How’s that for a summer drinking challenge?
Happy hour: 7 days a week, 4 pm-7 pm
1201 San Jacinto
The talented bar staff at Guadalajara del Centro has crafted some delicious takes on the classic margarita with harmonious flavors and unexpected ingredients. Choose from house-infused flavored tequilas such as apple cinnamon, cherry, or the ever-so-popular strawberry.
Happy hour: Monday-Friday, 3 pm-6:30 pm | $5 house margaritas, $4 bottled beer, $6 mojitos, $7 Skinny Margaritas
22 N. Chenevert
Irma’s is a favorite spot among downtowners and visitors alike and Irma’s famous lemonade mixed in the margaritas keeps people coming back! The lemonade and other mixings are made fresh daily, with all margaritas handcrafted to order. While Irma’s typically only serves dinner three nights a week, they keep their doors open until 7 pm on Astros game nights to feed the hungry fans. After many years in business, Houstonians still love Irma’s. But be sure to check the wall of autographed photographs to see all the visiting celebrities who love Irma’s too!
No happy hour | $10.50-$12.50 margaritas, $45 pitcher (serves 7)
History, quirk, music and a generous helping of color are all ingredients in the long-standing success of this Houston institution. Last Concert Café has been serving up their margaritas with a sangria swirl for more than 25 years. Patrons of the restaurant can sip their margaritas with a side of live music every night of the week, with each evening featuring a different offering of ear candy. Entertainment ranges from open mic night to major touring bands and a Sunday brunch jam session with newbies and veterans composing music together.
Happy hour: Monday 5 pm-12 am, Tuesday-Friday 5 pm-7 pm | $3 Lone Star Draft and $4 house margaritas
With 8 different concepts spanning multiple cuisines, the Pappas family has been in the Houston restaurant business for nearly 50 years. There aren’t many dishes they haven’t mastered and the same goes for their legendary margaritas! We can’t be sure if it’s the fresh fruit or the top shelf tequilas that make Pappasito’s signature drinks so good, but we can tell you they’re addictive!
No Happy Hour | Margaritas range from $9.95-$15.95
The Pastry War does not serve pastries. And the only warring you’ll experience will be the one in your head while deciding which of their more than 75 agave spirits will be most delicious. To this we say, good luck. The incredible house margarita features a blend of key limes and Persian limes. And any of the menu’s agave spirits can be made into a margarita for an additional $3.
Happy hour: Daily, 4 pm-6:30 pm | ½ off all mescals and tequilas, complimentary agua frescas, free games of pool
What better place to sip on a margarita than at a restaurant that specializes in the flavors of the country where it originated? James Beard award-winning chef, Hugo Ortega brings the distinct flavors of Oaxaca, the culinary capital of Mexico, to Houston through his newest restaurant, Xochi. Play it safe with the original Hugo Rita or choose from one of the many mezcal or tequila selections in the aptly named, “Oaxacan Lending Library”… The choice is all yours!
Happy hour: Monday-Friday 3 pm-6:30 pm | $6 Hugo Rita, $7 Paloma Tradicional (choice of mezcal or tequila)